Returning to Center: an Embodied Prayer

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embpryretThis is an embodied prayer I created for the Art of Spiritual Direction retreats at which I teach. It is based on the Lakota Native American Four Directions Prayer. Participants stand in a circle, facing center, where a large cross is placed. You can also Create a Sacred Space like the one pictured at right and use that as your central focal point.

Returning to Center: Embodied Scripture Prayer

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Painted Presents and the Art of Christmas

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Don’t ever be “too busy” to give your gift of ARTistry, BEaUty and CREATivITy…

The Secret Kingdom

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It’s hard to paint with a cat in your lap.

Many years ago I painted a portrait of my sister

for her Christmas present.

I am a slow painter.

If I remember correctly…

I started that painting

many months before Christmas

giving myself time

to linger over my work.

“Portrait of Sherry” by Michele Bledsoe

This Christmas

my sister asked for another portrait.

Not of herself,

but one of her beloved cat, Munchkin

who passed away this year..

leaving me 6 days to finish the painting.

6 days.

As of today, it is 5.

Did I decline her request?

Did I make excuses?

Did I explain that I simply had too many other things to do before Christmas?

No.

I just grabbed a blank canvas and started painting.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #219 — ADVENTure Prayer Walk

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I originally posted this in 2015 as a creative resource for Advent. I wanted to post it here as well as a Creative Spiritual Practice. ADVENTure is a creative and interactive prayer walk to contemplate the reason for the season. Designed to accompany the four weeks of the Advent season, each weekly devotional includes a focus on a “character” of the CHRISTmas story, as well as instructions for a creative or sensory experiential to accompany the meditation. This can be done within a church, ministry, small group, or family context. Kid-friendly and engaging.
This post includes links to all five devotionals and instructions to assist you. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.
Merry CHRISTmas, Jody

God's Creative Gift -- Unleashing the Artist in You

Advent BabyJesus strawADVENTure is a self-directed prayer walk we did several times at church on our college campus. It includes scriptures and short meditations combined with an activity at each prayer station designed to help ponder the true meaning of Christmas.

The church is set up with four candles around the outside of the room to represent a traditional Advent wreath. Another candle is positioned in the middle of the room to represent the Christ candle. These candles become the prayer stations where there are scripture meditations and supplies for an activity associated with each scripture passage.

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Arise

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Part 1 of a two-part series from artist Colleen Briggs
“And, then, what if Love has the power to cry, “Arise!” and it pulls you up out of the dirt, into the sun, into looming space so broad and free it takes your breath away?”

Colleen Briggs

arise-final-lo-res Arise; 2016; 14″ x 17.5″; mixed media: ink, watercolor, acrylic.

There you are, backed into a corner, walls closing in, ceiling compressing and floor heaving to meet it.

Suffering has a way of whittling the world down into compact space with infinite feeling.

Like a tiny dandelion in a vast open field, exposed. Like the deafening silence of lonely cries withheld in a crowded room, because no one will hear. Like the ache of an amputated limb.

But what if there, in the negative space, the space around what is, there is something more? What if it actually pulsates with something invisible, but something more real than what you see or touch?

What if it is actually love, standing there on the compact grave of buried memories of what was stolen and lost?

And, then, what if Love has the power to cry, “Arise!” and it pulls you up out of the dirt, into…

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Arise (2)

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Be inspired by this BEaUtiful artwork from the heART of artist Colleen Briggs.
My original devotional song “Song of the Beloved” was based on Song of Solomon. You can hear that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQKZeNemOGM

 

Colleen Briggs

arise-2-lo-res Arise (2); 2016; 14″ x 17″; mixed media: ink, watercolor, acrylic. 

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

“My beloved responded and said to me,
‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!’”

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Tend Your Soul

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Painting / depicting your “Safe Place”…
Where do you go to get away with God and how can you depict it through your creativity?

Colleen Briggs

Recently I painted a friend’s “safe place.” Turbulent waters threaten her survival; and in her mind, she swims to a quiet, peaceful space to weep, dream, hope, and gain new strength before plunging back into the storm.

Places possess power. Yesterday I wandered one of my own safe places, a prayer labyrinth buried deep in the forest. Breezes in the pines, vibrant flame of yellow fall leaves, all whispered to me truths from the heart of God. Messages gathered there ground me today, even as they lift me up above everyday realities into eternal promises.

Where is your safe place? Can you go there soon, if not physically, at least in your mind? Take some time to tend your soul. Linger for awhile and listen…

 

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Art From the Inside Out

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BEaUtiful! A must-read for the army of artists gathering to bring God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven!
Thank you Lew for sharing your heART!!

Creative Harmonies

Esther-01 “Esther” – Mixed-Media / 8.5 x 11 / Acrilycs, Color Pencil on Cardstock / (c)2013 Lewis M. Curtiss jr~

In my on-going creative life as a faith-driven artist, I’ve come to know that any art I make is the direct outgrowth of my relationship in Father God. Father and I co-labor in the creative process and, together, we birth creative expression. Without my deep, abiding, loving relationship in Him, my art would be a mere object, an artifact, to be sold in the marketplace of the world. It would lack any attributes of either Father, or myself.

I’ve come to understand that, in my work as a faith-driven artist, I need to work creatively from the inside out. The art I make is fully reliant upon my relationship with Father God, not on my skills, not on my ideas. Just as relational-faith works from the gate of First Love, from…

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